Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Art Underground, the latest contemporary art space in Manila, ends a successful first year with a special double-show featuring two rising stars in the Philippine art scene. Artists Iya Consorio and Mimi Salibio present their new works in two shows — “Weird Machine” from Consorio, and “Waking Season” from Mimi Salibio. These shows reveal the thought-provoking practices of a new breed of contemporary artists. Characterized by a highly-nuanced aesthetic, and tinged with references to Eastern spirituality and post-Enlightenment philosophy, the works are windows into the souls of two precocious and talented women.

Mimi Salibio is a product of the Fine Arts program of Far Eastern University, where she majored in painting. Her aesthetic combines a range of influences that lean towards an Eastern appeal — Japanese woodblock printing, for instance, and Hindi mythological charts. Transcendentalist in approach — heavily invested in the writings of Emerson — you can trace the development of her practice to the traditions of the Tibetan Sand Mandala and the ukiyo-e tradition of Japanese prints. In her show, “Waking Season,” Salibio demonstrates her proficiency in this aesthetic in works such as “Finding Fragrments in Solitutde,” where a solitary figure in Japanese garb stands alone against a minimalist backround. While the figure and context are Japanese, the composition and color-patterns are decidedly Hindo-Buddhist, recalling a Tibetan visual tradition.

Mimi Salibio, Lightyears From Home
50 x 48 in.
Acrylic on Canvas

Mimi Salibio, Life In A Droplet
30 x 30 in.
Oil on Canvas

Iya Consorio, on the other hand, is a product of the Fine Arts program University of Santo Tomas. Decidedly more Western in outlook, there is nevertheless a spiritual aspect that is strikingly similar to the tradition of Tarot cards and séances. Using a decidedly monochrome palette, the works of Consorio are skewed to more surrealist figurations. Many of her works are portraits of female sitters, in the manner of 16th and 17th century aristocratic portraiture. There are fantastic and surrealist elements to these portraits, however. “Agoraphobia,” for instance, has the sitter against a backdrop of stars, and numerous eyes.

Iya Consorio, Agoraphobia
50 x 38 in.
Acrylic on Paper

Mimi Salibio, Tamanho Offers A Mangosteen
30 x 40 in.
Oil on Canvas

These works represent some of the most interesting examples of contemporary art in the country. The setting, at Art Underground, provides the perfect place to allow the works the ambiance of their contexts. These two exhibits are definite must-see events for any fan of contemporary Philippine art.

Mimi Salibio, ...
48 x 60 in.
Mixed Media on Canvas

Mimi Salibio, Odyssey
30 x 30 in.
Acrylic on canvas

Both shows will open on 6PM, Friday, November 28, 2014. Exhibitions will run until December 12.

Art Underground is located at 814 Balagtas Street, Addition Hills, Mandaluyong City. They may be reached through their landline at (632) 721-0745 or email at artundergroundmanila@gmail.com.

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